Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex in Moundsville will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a new one-story research center to house West Virginia’s archaeological collection on Thursday, April 26, from 9 - 10:30 a.m. A reception with a continental breakfast will follow the ceremony. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested.
Governor Joe Manchin III, Randall Reid-Smith, commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and other dignitaries will lead the groundbreaking ceremony.
The 9,600-square-foot wing will be added to the northeast corner of the complex’s museum. In addition to a state-of-the art collections storage area, the wing will feature a conservation laboratory for curators, study area for researchers, library, and an observation area where the public can view the activity in the lab.
The new addition will be used to house archaeological collections that are currently stored at various other sites, some of which are out of state. It also will have ample room for more than 25 years of expansion to the entire collection. Currently, there are no state or federal repositories in West Virginia suitable for storing archaeological materials.
“This new wing at Grave Creek will provide a centralized location for the state’s archaeological collections,” said Randall Reid-Smith, commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. “We are excited to see the culmination of planning for the new addition which will accommodate both the current collection and its anticipated growth. Grave Creek will be the center of archaeological studies in West Virginia as well as the state’s premiere archaeological museum and tourist destination.”
The new wing is a $3-million project, funded by the West Virginia Legislature and a Save America’s Treasures grant supported by Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. Walters Construction Inc. of Wheeling will perform the actual construction, and Lisa Dall’Olio of Grove and Dall’Olio Architects in Martinsburg is the project manager. Construction is slated for completion in January 2008.
The concept of a new building began in 1996 when the state’s archaeological collection was transferred to Grave Creek. The project was publicly announced in September 2004.
For more information about the groundbreaking ceremony or to make a reservation, contact Susan Yoho, site manager of Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex, at (304) 843-4128.
Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex features one of the largest and most famous burial mounds built by the prehistoric Adena people. A massive undertaking, construction of the mound took place in successive stages from about 250-150 B.C., and required the movement of more than 60,000 tons of earth. Exhibits and displays in the complex’s museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The Museum is located at 801 Jefferson Ave., in Moundsville. Operating hours are Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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